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Monday, July 6, 2015

Even after court victory, Obamacare in trouble due to high rates & other issues

Obamacare has cleared a second major hurdle at the Supreme Court — but its troubles are far from over.
The law is still highly unpopular, and significant structural issues remain: Health insurance rates are rising, many people don’t have as much choice of doctors and hospitals as they’d like, some states continue to struggle with their exchanges, and 21 states still haven’t backed Medicaid expansion.

So while President Barack Obama can point to a two-time victory at the high court and the law’s historic increase of health coverage, his foes — including the Republicans jockeying for the 2016 ticket — can recite an alternative story. The fact that both realities are true — a red story that paints a grim picture and a blue version that has a much brighter hue — will make it hard to move on.

The biggest obstacle the Affordable Care Act faces is political: Republicans say the court’s ruling Thursday in King v. Burwell has done nothing to change their fundamental opposition to the law. But there are other substantive problems in implementing the law.
Some of the states that decided to set up an exchange are dealing with ongoing technological problems or financial difficulties, especially now that they can’t get federal grants. (Continues at POLITICO)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

So long Beckel! Bob is officially out of "The Five"

Fox News has officially dropped "The Five" co-host Bob Beckel from the network, saying the show could no longer be held "hostage" to his personal issues.

"We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues," Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming, said in a statement. "He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him."

Shine said Fox News personalities Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera will be "among those rotating on the show for the near future.”

The Five is currently No. 1 in all of basic cable at 5 p.m. for the month of June, and ratings in the 25-54 demo are up 8 percent since Feb. 16.  (Full Story)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Megyn Kelly Partners with Kevin Spacey

Megyn Kelly and Kevin Spacey have their eyes set on the White House.

The Fox News anchor and the House of Cards producer recently announced their plan to co-create a new presidential drama called The Resident. This will be Kelly’s first foray in the entertainment world, but Spacey’s fourth production set in the White House.

The new series, adapted from a similarly titled book, will take a look at the relationships between presidential service staff and the first families from the Kennedy through Obama administrations.

According to the book’s author, Kate Brower, the story is a sort of cross between Downton Abbey and House of Cards. And, with a partnership between a conservative and a liberal producer, hopefully “The Resident” will also be balanced. (Continues)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Megyn Kelly: New Star of Fox News

Megyn Kelly is bucking the conventional wisdom of what it means to be a Fox News anchor. The take-no-prisoners newswoman isn’t afraid to throw hardballs at Republicans. She recently lectured Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul over his penchant for arguing with female reporters. She poked Jeb Bush about whether he would have invaded Iraq in 2003. She cornered Mike Huckabee for saying it was trashy for women to swear in public. Last year, she told Dick Cheney, “History has proven that you got it wrong” on Iraq. On Election Night 2012, she dared to question Karl Rove for claiming that Barack Obama hadn’t won Ohio, and it went viral.

Just as surprisingly, she says she wouldn’t brawl with a certain Democratic presidential candidate if she landed an exclusive with her. “I think Hillary Clinton could handle me — easily,” Kelly says on a recent afternoon in her Manhattan office. “That would be epic television,” she muses. “Here she is, this powerful woman talking to somebody who is also a woman in a powerful post, who would never be accused of giving her a pass. Right? But I respect Hillary Clinton, and all that she’s achieved.” Kelly makes the case that she’d be fair. “I’d be under pressure, too. If you want to get big-name Democrats who are running for president, do you want to annihilate them? Of course not.”

Kelly, 44, a former corporate litigator who continues to gain prominence at the country’s biggest news network, is poised to become a force in the 2016 election, and is already set to co-moderate an Aug. 6 Republican primary debate. She will need to seize that opportunity to try to prove her detractors wrong, particularly the many liberals who still distrust her, and insist she’s way too soft on her subjects.

But like everything on Fox, Kelly is controversial. Viewers and critics are often befuddled, because they never know where she stands. She sounds like a Democrat on social issues (she’s long defended the transgender community) but a Republican on fiscal matters. Kelly tells Variety she’s not a member of the GOP. “I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans,” she says. “I’m an independent.” She believes her lack of political ideology actually makes her a more effective reporter. “I’m not rooting for anybody,” she says. “I’m a Fox News anchor, and I have no horse in the race. I can give anyone a hard time.” When asked if she considers herself a journalist or a personality, Kelly says, “I don’t really separate the two. I just think of myself as Megyn Kelly — broadcaster. You can do both.”  (Full article at Variety)